Check out my latest feature for Factor Magazine on the growing number of medicinal foods entering the market that promise to make us look younger and feel better. Have we unlocked the secret to eternal youth or not?
Today we’re surrounded by an ever growing range of potions that promise to make us look younger, beverages that stop us absorbing fat, and foods that claim to lower cholesterol better than doctor-prescribed medicines. More and more of these alleged youth and health-enhancing foods – also known as medicinal foods or nutricosmetics because they appear to bridge the gap between food for nutrition and food to fix, change or enhance our body – have found their way onto supermarket shelves in recent years.
Examples include Pure Gold Collagen, a collagen-enriched drink which claims to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, and Japanese product Kirin Mets Cola, which claims to be the world’s first healthy cola mixed with digestible dextrin to reduce fat absorption during a meal. This product was so popular in Japan after its launch in May 2012 that it topped 50% of its annual sales goal in just two days.
It is estimated that the market for nutricosmetics, defined as nutritional supplements which proposes to support the function and the structure of the skin, alone will be worth $7.4bn (£4.8bn) by 2020.